The Bihar and Sikkim governments on Saturday issued an advisory on Nipah Virus in the wake of its outbreak in Kerala where it has claimed 11 lives till now. The Health Department of Bihar has issued the circular to raise awareness about the virus. The advisory includes symptoms of the virus and dos and don’ts such as how the virus is transmitted and how people can save themselves from it. The government has also asked the health facilities to report cases of Nipah Virus.
In the advisory, the government said that animals like bats and pigs are the carriers of this virus. One can get infected through direct contact with infected animals or intake of infected substances. The symptoms of the virus include sudden fever, headache, muscle pain and vomiting. The advisory further said swollen can occur during the virus infection and the infected person can go into a comma in just 24 to 48 hours.
The government’s advisory also includes the precautions like staying away from pigs or people who are in direct contact with pigs, try not to eat fallen fruits, eat fruits after washing them properly, eat well cooked food until the outbreak is over, try to avoid the crowded places and use mask on the face while travelling.
The Sikkim health department had also issued an advisory urging the people of the state to take precaution against Nipah virus. “Though there is minimal possibility of Nipah virus in Sikkim, but the people need to take precaution,” it said in an advisory yesterday in the wake of Nipah outbreak in Kerala.
Nipah virus can be transmitted from animals to humans. It can spread through direct contact with infected bats, pigs or from the people. The symptoms of this virus begin to show up in 5 to 14 days after exposure. Currently, no drug is available for its treatment and that makes it more deadly. Although, early treatment with antiviral drug ribavirin can reduce the severity of the disease.
Bats are being considered the carriers of this virus because the bats were found in the house of the family. But the cause of its outbreak is still unknown after the animal disease laboratory at Bhopal found all the samples from bats negative.
In Kerala, the Nipah virus has so far claimed 11 lives and the state government has stepped up efforts to contain the outbreak. A Union Health Ministry advisory has said that the virus, which commonly affects animals such as bats, pigs, dogs, and horses, can spread to humans, causing serious illness.